Archives for the month of: September, 2008

OK I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been lazy and slow in getting this up… Sorry.
So As I’ve already metioned, I got a DVD from my master, and he gave me a secret meditation mantra to improve the flow of chi. The rest of the day was fairly standard. Usually on a friday we go into the local town of Taining, book into a hotel, eat fast food and generally be merry. I thought that this Friday was going to be no different.
We were on our way to the usual fast food place, everyone in a group rather than splitting into a few smaller groups. No biggie it’s my birthday. We were going to stop in at a shop that sold ‘proper’ kung fu slippers as a few of the people were interested in getting a pair and wanted to know where the shop was. I was slightly annoyed by this but it was on the way and it was my birthday, so I didn’t want it to get in the way of having a good time.
Arlan led us into a restraunt, ‘that’s weird’ I thought ‘you’re not going to get kung fu slippers in a restraunt’. He led us directly to one of the private rooms, and there was the owner of the school and his wife.
I was smiling massively for about five minutes, I’ve never had a suprise party!
The rest of the evening just went from strength to strength. We had a really great meal, where I ate loads – this is important. Then we went to our usual bar (which happens to be owned by Scott, the owner of the school). Then Scott took us to a club, which we’ve never been to. It was a very cool night with all kinds of crazy things, drinking games, a bouncy dancefloor, pole dancing (by us not professionals). Then we went back to Scotts bar, more dancing chatting and drinking. I went to the internet cafe and made a few drunken skype calls and then fell into bed at about five in the morning.
I had been maintaining that I didn’t want to get drunk and I wanted to eat more than I drank. Thankfully because of the massive meal to start with, I didn’t get too drunk, despite being plied with drinks all night. I didn’t realise just how well the evening came together until we went out this Friday, we tried roughly the same formula, but things just didn’t come together in the same way, people weren’t feeling it and I ended up leaving and going to be quite early. Just makes the memory of my birthday evening that much more special 🙂

The visa situation has improved!
I’ll fill you in with the back story. Because of the Olympic games getting and extending visas for China was made a lot harder. This meant that I couldn’t get a 90 day visa to cover my entire trip, I could only get a 60 day visa which is due to expire at the end of September. Extending a visa when the Olympic games were on was a major hastle, you had to open a Chinese bank account and have a minimum balance of 21000 Yuan – which is about 1500 pounds. Not only does this mean that you have to have 21000 Yuan but you also have to navigate the rather confusing waters of international money transfers.
Fortuantely now that the games are over extending a visa has gone back to ‘normal’, just in time for me! Now all I have to do is give the owner of the academy my passport, two passport photos and 900 Yuan (roughly eighty pounds) and he can post it off to some official somewhere and it’ll all be sorted with the minimum of effort on my part.

This is a bit out of date as it was last Sunday that I went cycling but never mind. Having been admiring the views on our weekly trip to Taining, the local town, I decided to finally get out there with my camera and try and get a few pics.
I got about half-way to Taining before turning back – that was my plan all along so not biggie. The trip there was pretty easy as it’s mostly down hill…..
Here are a couple of the pics I got:
Walking home
Mountain high
My plan is to do some cycling exporation every Sunday and hopfully I’ll get to know the local area a bit better and what kind of times in the evenings are the bast to capture the more scenic views 🙂

I also got a signed DVD from my master along with a ‘secret’ mantra to cultivate chi. And it’s only 8 in the morning, things can only get better 🙂

If this works there’ll be a cool slideshow below.

If it doesn’t click this link. I advise that you change the options and disable ‘Embiggen small thing for this screen’ It blurs the pictures. You may want to click on the link regardless, it brings up the pictures bigger than they appear in the slideshow above.

I had a sudden and surreal realisation when I was eating dinner a few days ago. I haven’t used, or even seen a knife and fork for over a month now. It’ll be a bit of a novelty when that comes round again!
The internet at the academy has been on the blink but is hopefully sorted out for at least a little while. There is however only one computer at the moment so the demand is quite high.
Luckily at the moment there are only four students (including myself) which makes the tuition very intensive but also very good! I’ve started learning bagua sword, which to be honest is vicious. The first move, other than picking up the sword is a stab to the unmentionables… I’m loving it. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more pictures up over the course of the week.